Government of Canada invests nearly $2 million in migratory bird monitoring and conservation programs

News release

December 1, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec

Migratory birds are an important part of Canadian biodiversity. Despite their great adaptability, science shows that migratory bird populations are declining, and this has negative impacts on ecosystem health. The Government of Canada is committed to halting this loss of biodiversity by strengthening protective measures for migratory birds and supporting work with many partners, including other governments, Indigenous peoples, and non-profit organizations.

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced today that the Government of Canada is investing $1.998 million over three years in a wide range of programs for migratory bird monitoring and conservation, including for species at risk, throughout Canada. The results of these projects will assist in planning the recovery of species at risk and in protecting their habitats.

These programs will be carried out especially with the help of citizen science volunteers who are recruited and managed by Birds Canada. The programs will take place in a wide range of habitats across Canada to provide information on the status and distribution of birds in Canada.

The funds for these citizen science volunteer programs will be used to organize groups and provide equipment for them to conduct, among other things, breeding-bird atlas surveys, marsh monitoring programs, and the Bicknell’s thrush and woodcock surveys. The funds will also be used to produce bird migration studies and coordinate the eBird platform, the Christmas Bird Count, and the Breeding Bird Survey in Canada. These programs, and the dedicated people who contribute to them, form the backbone of bird conservation.

This investment demonstrates the Government’s commitment to making science-based decisions for migratory bird conservation through partnership with a national organization and the inclusion of Canadians in these projects for increasing knowledge.

This is just one of the measures the Government of Canada is taking to protect nature as it prepares to host the world in Montréal in December 2022 for the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Canada, in partnership with Indigenous peoples, the original stewards of the land, can take the opportunity which COP15 presents to model leadership through actions to conserve nature and halt the loss of biodiversity throughout the world. 


“Biodiversity loss, such as the decline in bird populations, demonstrates that our environment is being negatively affected. Birds are an integral part of our lives and are the voice of nature. We cannot let their voices be silenced. We must take action for their conservation. I am inspired by the leadership in the general public, communities, and organizations such as Birds Canada who are working together across the country to protect nature, biodiversity, and species at risk and their habitats.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Volunteer bird monitoring and conservation plays an essential role in halting and reversing biodiversity loss. These funds will be used to acquire important data to inform decision-making. We very much look forward to working with Environment and Climate Change Canada to help Canada’s wild birds. Learning about volunteer opportunities with Birds Canada is one way to get involved in taking positive action, whatever your level of experience may be.”

– Patrick Nadeau, President and CEO, Birds Canada

Quick facts

  • From December 7–19, 2022, Canada will host the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Montréal, Quebec, for COP15, which will focus on the negotiation of a new global biodiversity framework. This major international conference will be a significant event, during which thousands of delegates from around the world will come together to take action to protect nature.

  • The country hosts, on a seasonal cycle, approximately 393 species of migratory birds. Habitat loss due to urban and coastal development, agriculture, and various changes in land use, are the primary threats to migratory birds.

  • The Government of Canada is protecting migratory bird habitats by making progress toward its goal of conserving 25 percent of Canadian land, fresh water, and oceans by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

  • Birds are excellent indicators of the health of our water, air, and land. They help keep forests and farms healthy by spreading seeds, and eating insects and rodents

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada is an international leader in ornithology and bird monitoring and conservation.

  • Birds Canada is a national non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to the protection of birds. Every day, thousands of caring donors, employees, and volunteers take action to increase the understanding, love, and conservation of birds in Canada.

Associated links


Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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